Ajatashatru wrote:As far as I am concerned, Buddhism belonging to the Dharma traditions is not static and fossilized but ever evolving.
This is just your personal opinion, is not related to Buddhism & is not true. The recorded teachings of Buddha & the rules of the monks in the Vinaya have remained the same (static) for at least 2,000 years. Buddhism is the teachings of Buddha and not the teachings of Ajatashatru.
It is also noticeable how the purer Theravada Buddhism has outlasted & is far stronger than those Mahayana schools that sought to develop new philosophies & particularly get involved in politics & government. Tibet is an example, where the dharma there has been strongly persecuted because it is the seat of politics. Where as in Thailand, Buddhism is not even the official national religion & it has flourished.
Ajatashatru wrote: First question I must ask is do we really have ALL the teachings of the Buddha available. Remember Nalanda library burned for six months.
The subjects taught at Nalanda University
covered every field of learning and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. It did not exclusively teach Buddhism. Nalanda was destroyed in 1193. Where as the original teachings of Buddha, after being orally transmitted, were written down in 83 BC, which was 1,276 years before the demise of Nalanda.
Ajatashatru wrote: Secondly, we should read between the lines. We all know Theravada does not prohibit meat. Why is that? Is anybody that naive to think all the animals that we eat just jumped off a cliff
Theradava prohibits monks eating meat if it is known or suspected the animal was killed for the monk. Theravada monk's silently beg for food & must not make trouble for laypeople. Theravada monks eat what the people eat. If the people decide to be vegetarian then the monks they feed will be vegetarian.
Ajatashatru wrote:Buddhism if anything is a sharp contrast to fatalistic Hinduism and Jainism. For example, Buddha actively seeked patronage of King Ajatashatru.
My understanding is King Ajatashatru actively seeked patronage of Buddha (refer to Samaññaphala Sutta
Ajatashatru wrote:I am yet to see a non-western senior Theravada monk condemn this violence in Burma to the degree you guys have.
I trust there would be non-western senior Theravada monks condemn this violence. When I lived in Thailand, the most famous monks often condemned violence & corruption by the Thai government. I have heard it myself, in person, when there was once a coup de tat in Thailand & people were shot in the streets.
Ajatashatru wrote:Or perhaps the Asians are too full of superstition to grasp the Buddha's true message and need a guiding Westerner to set them straight.
The original Buddhist scriptures are Asian. The teachers most Westerners have learned from are Asian. The difference between Western Buddhism & Asian Buddhism is the majority of Western Buddhists are practitioners where as the majority of Asian Buddhists are mere cultural Buddhists, just like the majority of Western Christians are cultural rather than practising Christians.
Ajatashatru wrote:Why don't you preach to the...Chakma in Bangladesh about the Buddha's true teachings then?
Buddha taught it is a blessing to live in a suitable locality. If the Chakma are a minority, violence will not help them, since they cannot win. Like the Tibetans sought refuge in India, they can seek refuge elsewhere.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Karaniya Metta Sutta